The Strange Bond Between Marty Rathbun and Tony Ortega

Marty Rathbun and Tony Ortega

It can become a real head scratcher when you try to understand the strange bond between Marty Rathbun and Tony Ortega who, apparently, was fired by the Village Voice for being obsessed with Scientology “stories” at the expense of his job.

Let’s start with Marty Rathbun.

He’s ranging far afield these days from when he first started delivering “counseling” based on altered Scientology tech.

On his blog he’s been ruminating about Buddhism and other paths to spiritual enlightenment, making it clear that he’s incorporating these belief systems into the altered tech that his clients seek.

But, from what we’re hearing from sources, many of Rathbun’s clients have made only one trip down to Texas to receive his odd form of counseling.

We’ve also noticed Rathbun’s been excerpting portions of his self-published books and repurposing them as blog posts, which indicates that the books have not sold very well and the excerpts are posted as a marketing tool to attract more people to buy the books.

It’s an obvious form of self-promotion and, just maybe, a desperate move to keep more money coming in from book sales given the paucity of counseling clients who, it seems, are not making too many repeat visits.

Look at it this way: If you want to practice Buddhism or try cognitive therapy (one of Rathbun’s new favorites), you don’t need to travel to Bulverde, Texas.

Either way, Rathbun does need an income, especially since his “wife” Monique Rathbun (we use quotes since they are not really married because the man who officiated at the “wedding” had no legal power to marry anyone) either quit or, possibly, was fired from her job before playing house with Rathbun.

Still, mixed in with the Eastern religions and the psychotherapy, Rathbun still says that he believes in the doctrines laid down by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

And that takes us to Ortega.

We have no idea where his blogging headquarters is, but we suspect he works at home – that being the E. 89th St. apartment of his live-in girlfriend Arielle Silverstein. We also think that Ortega is either funding his blog – and living, too – off the paycheck of Silverstein who works at the United Nations. Or, he got a severance check from his former employer to tide him over.

Either way, Ortega delights (obsesses) in posting anti-Scientology material which includes attacking the religion’s founder.

So, wouldn’t that be a source of friction between him and Rathbun? You would think so, but apparently not. They congratulate each other on their respective blogs and often link to each other’s postings.

By allying with Tony Ortega – who’s been down to Texas to visit him multiple times – Rathbun is tacitly invalidating his stated belief in L. Ron Hubbard’s doctrines.

Simply put, how can you be friends with someone who, daily, attacks your beliefs? It just doesn’t make sense.

We think, though, that we have found what bonds Rathbun and Ortega together.

It’s the money.

As we’ve mentioned, Rathbun is in dire need of income and Ortega, against all odds, is trying to turn his blog postings into a book. In fact, he’s said as much and is, no doubt, busy trying to find a publisher. So far, none have taken his bait.

But with their common denominator being money, Rathbun and Ortega each need something to feed off. And that’s what Scientology has become for them both.

It’s a means to a material end – despite Rathbun’s feigned sincerity (which oozes from his posts) – and Ortega’s anti-Scientology screeds.

Some would even go so far as to call them leeches. After all, they don’t really do a lot of anything except leech off the religion that one (Ortega) is obsessed with and the other (Rathbun) abandoned.